How Much Does Your Dream Home Cost?

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What does your dream home look like, and how much does it cost? Whether it’s a cottage on a secluded beach, a stately mansion on a hill, or something in-between, your dream home probably won’t come cheap.

Two recent surveys agree that America’s dream home is relatively expensive but differ on the actual price – along with a few other aspects of the average dream home.

Homes.com and Northshore Fireplace each polled 2,000 Americans to determine what constitutes a dream home. Homes.com found the average dream home costs an estimated $879,000, while Northshore Fireplace came in at $1.3 million. Both are well beyond Zillow’s April 2018 median home value of $215,600.

What will you find in your $879,000 dream home as defined by the Homes.com survey? You’ll get a beach house – or at least beach-house décor – with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, hardwood floors, and an open kitchen. Other features include a deck, spacious walk-in closet, two-door garage…

Video: When To Accept Mortgage Prepayment Penalties

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There are plenty of mortgages available that don’t charge prepayment penalties. When should you be willing to accept a home loan with these potential fees? Bankrate.com Senior VP and Chief Analyst Greg McBride explains what benefits may balance out such penalties, as well as what to look out for in your Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC) contract.

You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips.

Don’t Let A Credit Dispute Blow Your Mortgage

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“Always check your credit report for errors, and dispute any errors as soon as possible.” We normally give this advice, but there are a few exceptions to this rule – including when you are preparing to apply for a mortgage loan.

Errors in credit reports should generally be disputed because of the potentially detrimental effects on your credit score. Matt Schulz, Senior Industry Analyst at CreditCards.com, puts it this way: “The thing about a credit score is it’s not really important every single day, but when it’s important, it’s really important.”

Mortgage loans are one of those important occasions where a high credit score is essential – you want your credit score to be as high as possible in order to qualify for the best interest rates and save thousands of dollars over the life of a loan. Unfortunately, if a loan officer sees that items on your credit report are …

Need Down Payment Help? Consider Shared Equity

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You want to buy a home and have the income to support a decent monthly payment – but you can’t save up enough money for a significant down payment. With home prices and interest rates rising, you’re afraid that you’ll be priced out of the market before you can save up a full down payment.

If you qualify for FHA or VA loans, you may be able to secure a loan with far less than the standard 20% down payment required to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI). However, you’ll have to borrow more money by definition and will end up paying considerably more in interest over the life of the loan.

A few companies are offering a new alternative for down payment assistance – a shared equity mortgage. With a shared equity mortgage, a third-party investor contributes a portion of your down payment in exchange for a share of the proceeds …

Renters’ Top 8 Biggest Concerns About Buying A Home

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Homeownership remains a goal for most Americans. According to NerdWallet’s 2018 Home Buyer Report, 91% of respondents want to own at least one home during their lifetime. However, that same report shows eight concerns renters have regarding that goal. If you haven’t bought a home yet, see if they match your concerns.

1. Purchase Cost – Home prices were the top concern, cited by approximately 65% of renters. Recent statistics validate their concern. According to Trulia, prices rose in the starter market by almost 58% over the last six years. First-time homebuyers are being squeezed out of some markets entirely.

2. Maintenance Cost – It’s easy to underestimate typical home maintenance costs – usually around 1% to 2% of your home’s value on an annual basis. Fifty-eight percent of renters cited this concern, understanding th…

American Homebuyers By The Numbers (Infographic)

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Who is buying homes in the US? Discover who these homebuyers are in our exclusive infographic above.

Lenders compare mortgage applications across several factors, including the credit scores of hopeful homebuyers. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips.

Last week, we detailed what sacrifices people made to pay for their homes. Come back next week for our final installment, which will offer a profile of U.S. home sellers.

MoneyTips is happy to help you get free mortgage quotes fr…

Video: How Much Should You Pay For Your Mortgage?

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A zero-closing-cost home loan sounds good, but not if you are trading those costs off for a much higher interest rate throughout the life of the loan. In our exclusive video above, watch Mortgage Advisor Casey Fleming explain what factors to consider when comparing mortgage offers and how to calculate a home purchase loan you can live with.

If you’re looking for a home purchase loan, you have to know your credit score. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips.

How We Paid For Our Homes (Infographic)

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How badly do you want to own a home? What would you be willing to give up to achieve the American dream? Discover what sacrifices recent homebuyers made to purchase their homes, and whether they see the acquisition as a worthwhile investment.

Your credit history is an important factor in getting your mortgage approved. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips.

The previous infographic in our Keys to Homeownership series showed the obstacles homebuyers faced in making their down payments. Part Five will present a profile of American homebuyers and their reasons for purchasing a …

First-Time Homebuyers Setting Records

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Prospective first-time homebuyers are facing stiff challenges as they enter today’s housing market – including finding an affordable home. A profound shortage of starter homes is limiting choices and raising home prices. According to Trulia, as of April 2018, the inventory of starter homes decreased 48.6% from six years prior while prices rose 57.9%.

Many would-be first-time buyers are millennials, saddled with student loan debt and struggling to save for a down payment. To make matters worse, the run of historically low interest rates appears to be over as the Federal Reserve gradually increases interest rates and mortgage rates follow suit.

According to data from Freddie Mac, first-time homebuyers are buying in record numbers despite thes…